Overland disruption and unrest have been reported in Abidjan on Monday, October 19, as demonstrators gather denouncing a possible third term by incumbent President Alassane Ouattara. Protesters in Riviéra 2 and Anono areas of Abidjan have reportedly blocked roads and damaged property, with several incidents of arson targeting vehicles as well. Similar demonstrations have been reported in Bonoua.
Heightened security measures should be anticipated in the vicinity of the protests, particularly as the ban on gatherings remains in place amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions. Localized disruptions are likely to continue and further demonstrations are possible. Clashes between protester and security forces are also possible.
President Alassane Ouattara announced on August 7 that he would be standing for a third term in presidential elections scheduled to be held on October 31. The president had been expected to stand down at the end of his current term, but the sudden death of his expected successor, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, on July 8 left the ruling RHDP coalition with no clear candidate going into the polls. However, Ouattara's decision to stand again has been opposed by the opposition and civil society groups. Unrest linked to the issue has resulted in several fatalities and dozens of arrests.
Those in Cote d'Ivoire are advised to monitor developments and remain apprised of the political situation, avoid all public demonstrations and political gatherings as a precaution, avoid discussing sensitive political topics in public and heed all instructions issued by the local authorities.